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The Scarlet Beauty - 90 HP Sports

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD 90 HP' started by pv_krish, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    This is first time am writing a review, after one and half years of my ownership with my scarlet lady love.

    For the past 2-3 months have been very active with TFI. Today there was a sudden urge to write about my experience of owing this Italian lady.

    Am not a expert orator or a writer, will try to do my best.

    First car:

    My first car was a Indica Xeta, petrol, Salsa red colour. A decent first car and had done around 51k KMS in 4.5 years. Had a couple of accidents in 4 years where I had to claim the insurance. More often the car would be in the service station than with me, but I must say that it still served pretty well. There used to always be cold start trouble. Couple of engine over heating, first time was the failure of radiator fan and the second was leakage in water pump.

    Next was the failure in AC compressor fuse. Luckily replaced in extended warranty.

    After this, it was Ok and did not have much of a niggle. But with the increase in petrol prices and the completion of extended warranty, did not give me the confidence to own this car further. Also I have some personal problems which prompted me to sell this car.

    2011 Jan, sold this car. I was without any vehicle for almost a year and a half. Used to commute by bus.

    In march 2012, could not take any more and got a bike, Suzuki GS 150R. Good bike I must say. Good heavy bike and gives good balance. Very stable bike at high speeds.

    Since my financial status was not much improved, could not get myself to buy a car. Used to do a lot of test drives. After driving the punto and linea, no other car gave me that precious smile while driving. Test drove, i20, verna, indica vista, manza, vento (twice), XUV, Maruti Ritz, the list just goes on. Test driving almost became my weekend pass time. But each time after a test drive, would call different dealers of FIAT and do a test drive of linea or punto, so that they do not block me from having a test drive. Have driven linea 3-4 times and punto, do not have the count. My friends and colleagues would make fun that next time when I go to any showroom, they would have a photo of mine, similar to the wanted list in police station, to avoid giving me a test drive.

    Buying decision:

    Soon my personal problems were resolved, financial stability improved, but the time to own a car had not arrived. I thought I could carry on like this for some more while. Things were to change pretty soon.

    It had been close to 2 years since I drove a car. I thought my passion for driving was gone. Went to my cousin's place at Delhi for Diwali. They had a 2nd had santro and they used to have a call driver for them when they had to go out. Since I knew to drive, they proposed and it was fine.

    Sitting inside the car, in the drivers seat after almost 2 years evoked the passion again. Drove the car in Delhi traffic for 3-4 days, the longing to own a car caught me like a fire. It had completed engulfed me.

    I wanted a niggle free car this time. But FIAT ruled the heart. Friends were suggesting Maruti, but my heart never stopped longing for FIAT. All were saying that the service was bad with TATA and its not niggle free. But my heart never stopped thinking over it. Guess what, FIAT splitting from TATA started to fructify.

    I decided to go with the heart, but there was still the confusion between 2 cars, punto or linea. After much thought, and financial strength, went to punto, but sports model. So I get the bang of the power with lesser weight.

    Enquiries started with Tafe reach, VST motors as these were near my company. Tafe did not have the sports model as it was nearing the end of the JV between FIAT and TATA. VST motors gave me different answers at different times and finally I found out that they had a sports model in the yard that was 6 months old.

    Then went to concorde motors for enquiry, guess what, got the information that sports model was stopped. What a twist. Heart sunk :inpain:. Then went to RDC which had just opened. The sports model was in display, but they only had the OVRM painted in black. They did not have the aluminium pedals nor the racing stickers on the side and the back and no muffler. Went back to concorde motors as I had better confidence in the sales representative Mr.Raman there. He said they also had that model Nov 2012 make and could get. Went ahead with the booking. Booked the car on Dec 18th 2012. Another twist, car booked was said to be not available. Another wait. Waited, used to get regular updates that they were following up. I was also not in hurry, so did was not anxious.

    Then got a call that there was a Jan 2013 car and they had ordered from Pune. They asked me if I would like to take it. Certainly I did, with a glee, as I got it with the same offer that was for a Nov model. Grabbed it with both hands.

    The car arrived in the yard on Feb first week. Did the PDI, checked the VIN number and confirmed that I would take the car. They promised me to give floor mats, mud flaps and reverse parking sensor.

    Buying process:

    Took some loans from father and Sis. Put some from my pocket and then applied for loan from SBT. Luckily they had a offer where they were giving car loan for 10.25%. :)

    Felt blessed and went ahead. The loan processing was smooth.

    Had informed that I would take the car on Feb 20th. Went from office in the afternoon. The car was ready, in the bay. Was invited cordially. Sales formalities were completed, small pooja done, and the car handed over. The sales persons handled the process really well. Got a box of chocolate. Parked the car in the showroom parking area and the sales person convinced me to but the muffler. Fell for it and got it for 2.2k

    Guess what, my punto was the last car from the concorde showroom is what the sales guys told me.

    First spin:

    Went to a regular temple and did another pooja. Got the car home. The dream felt fulfilled. Brings a smile to my face even today when I write about this.

    Got the car on wed and Friday colleagues and me decided to drive to a place called Thiruvannamalai, a place of famous Shiva temple. Went there with frieds. While on
    the way to the place, the road was pathetic for about 70 odd kms. Took a round about route and the first long drive, just after a couple of days of purchase did 560 kms.

    Accessories added:

    Once I booked the car, did a lot of review for accessories like seat cover and ICE. Then found a good car center for seat covers called Jeewajee. Must say that these guys are the best in Chennai for seat covers as far as I know.

    Ordered autoform car seat, U Fly plus, red and black with red stitching. Matched perfectly with the car.

    Did floor carpet in the same place. The fit and finish of the seat covers is just amazing. They did a professional job.

    Bought a pair of neck rest and got punto door sil plates.

    ICE, after lot of analysis, wanted to add PHD speakers to the stock HU. Still a pending dream.


    Touch wood, I must say the ownership has been pretty much smooth till date.

    Did a run-in period until 2500 kms, did not cross 80-90 km/h. Till date follow the process of waiting for 30 seconds before taking the car and before parking the car.

    Did a 3M detailing on the car after 2 weeks. Did a new car treatment plan. And the car looked fabulous. The red beauty was sparkling.

    I do Wash the car every week. But whenever there is a camp, make sure to take it there so that I do not have the strain cleaning the car

    First year completed 12k kms. Now the ODO stands at 17200 kms. Have not done much in the past 8 months.

    Within 5k kms had a problem with the drivers door lock. Went to FASS and was informed that the actuator had failed. The stock was not available. They placed the order and was informed after a week that it had arrived and was changed free of cost.

    First service was pretty much smooth, no hassles, car was checked and washed and give spic and span.

    After that, during one other trip on the highway at night, the door started locking and unlocking repeatedly. The warning was from rear left door. Called the FIAT 24/7 customer care. They connected to a person from RDC and he asked me to pull out the sensor plug from the door, lock the door manually and not use it. Came back to Chennai after a couple of days, booked an appointment with Ramkay and they kept the car for a day to find the problem and reported back that there was no problem with the lock. When I insisted, they changed the whole rear lock assembly in warranty and have had no more problems with the lock so far.

    Did another 3M detailing, spent around 20k this time (Nothing comes cheap if you want the best). Put some paint protection films at vulnerable places, put 3M noodle carpets and as usual the car exterior detialing.

    Third and final change under warranty. The up button on the steering wheel was working weirdly for sometime. When I reported first the service guys said that it was fine and could not replicate. Second time I reported they were hesitant to claim under warranty and asked me to use for some more time and report if the problem persisted. Third time, the up button was working so badly that It would dial the last called number when up button was pressed. I reported, took the car to Ramkay, they analysed and said they would place an order for a new steering wheel an told that I would get the same in a week. Called them after a week and it had not yet arrived. Called after another 3 days and the service guy told me that the steering wheel had arrived. Changed that under warranty and also did a under chassis rust treatment as a under body scrap started rusting.

    Cost of new leather wrapped streering wheel, with mounted controls, 13k. Free under warranty.

    How is the car doing now:

    After the recent trip to B'lore, faced a side wall puncture on the left rear tyre when I reached B'lore. Fixed it and came to Chennai. Sidewall fix held up well which was worrying me all the way till I reached Chennai. Took the car to office, while starting back home at night, the right rear tyre was punctured. Replaced with the spare tyre (Why can't this be an alloy :banghead:) and came home. Had to go to service station for the steering wheel problem and asked them to fix the puncture. They informed that the puncture was in the side wall (oh no not again) and refused to fix. They also raised a call log with apollo.

    The apollo guys came and as expected did not agree this as a manufacturing defect. I went to a local tyre dealer and fixed the side wall. It has held up well until now, but am bit skeptical to use it on the highway. Planning to change all the 4 tyres to Michelin. Until then, am keeping the beauty for local service only (what a shame).

    How does the car perform:

    Breeze to drive. One sentence, it puts a smile on the face :shamefullyembarrased:. Twisting roads, its a piece of cake. 140-150, takes it with ease. so far I have not seen it going out of gas, but have never gone beyond 4k RPM.

    Mileage wise, the best I have got is 18 kmpl and the least 14 kmpl (purely driven inside city).


    5 minor scratches and one dent.

    First scratch by me in the front bumper right side. Parked the car in coffee day and talking to my friend took reverse and forgot that there as a lamp post. Heart broke the first time.

    Second one, on the rear bumper right side. A guy, probably was parking the car first time in a public place and tired so hard that it put a scratch on the right side of the rear bumper in front of my eyes. Do not know what that idiot was trying to do. He did not even bother to apologies. In hindi we call guys like these as "Namuna".

    Thrid scratch on the front lip, again my fault. Took a wrong turn on the highway, tried to turn in the right direction without reversing and the median stone scrapped under the front lip. Not visible, but I know the pain

    Two other scratches on the rear bumper on the back and one under it. Do not know how and who did it.

    The one dent is on the right skirt. No idea how and when that happened

    How do I like the car:

    It is always a honeymoon when I am with the car.

    TFI meets:

    The car and I have so far done 2 TFI meets. Both dinner.

    The car is still hungry for a proper meet with a long drive, to satisfy its appetite and the owners appetite.

    Will post the photos soon.

    Note to Mods: Please feel free to alter or delete the contents that you see as irrelevant
  2. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Awesome start. Actually, you have written very well.
    Now its time to share pictures also your service experience.

    Note:- I edited your post to remove excessive smilies for better reader experience. :)
    prabhjot and pv_krish like this.
  3. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Such a big ownership review and not a single pic. Congratulations on the 90 HP scorcher. Is there any specific reason why the review was withheld for such a long time?

    Enjoy happy mile crunching and drive safely.
    pv_krish likes this.
  4. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @ghodlur, thanks a lot. Pictures will follow shortly.

    No specific reason for the delay. Was not confident how my reviews would come, had not done any before. Sudden urge came and did it yesterday. Hope it has come out well.
    ghodlur likes this.
  5. himanshu4886

    himanshu4886 Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    Well?? it is awesome bro. It is having the aroma of natural and real feeling which most of the Fiat lovers have felt during their purchase and ownership duration but couldn't translate them into words (atleast I couldn't). Enjoyed reading it and waiting for the pics same as the review goes.

    Happy revving
    pv_krish likes this.
  6. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @himanshu4886, thanks for the encouraging words. Glad that you enjoyed reading it.
  7. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    First problem happened today. I was not able to take the car out whole of last week. Today morning when I started the car, it gave me a error stating "Oil pressure is low, stop and turn, switch off engine and restart". I immediately switched the engine off and restarted after 2-3 mins and everything was normal.

    Has anyone faced such issues?
    Will the car that is in the parking lot for a week without being started have a oil pressure problem?
  8. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
  9. rejin_r

    rejin_r Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    @pv_krish nice ownership review buddy.....do you have TFI sticker on your car?
  10. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Thanks @rejin_r, am yet to paste the stickers and uplaod the car photos
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 13, 2014 ---
    Thanks Ravi. Just called up the service center and they asked me to come there where they would check of any sensor is faulty.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014

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